Qatar Gas Transport Co., an operator of vessels to transport liquefied natural gas, jumped the most in more than two months as foreign institutions boost their holdings in the nation’s shares.
The shares rose 3.2 percent, the most since June 2, to close at 19.29 riyals in Doha today, with 1.9 million shares traded, almost triple the three-month daily average. The stock was the third-biggest gainer on the QE Index (DSM), which climbed 0.9 percent. Nakilat, as the company is known, has advanced 26 percent so far this year, compared with a 20 percent rise in the benchmark index.
Stock exchanges in Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG exporter, and neighboring United Arab Emirates were upgraded to emerging-market status in June by MSCI Inc. (MSCI:US), fueling speculation foreign investors will channel more money into these countries. Foreign institutions were net buyers of 26 percent of Qatari shares in July, compared with 13 percent in all of 2012, according to data of the Qatar Exchange.
“There has been renewed foreign and local institutional interest in the stock,” Bobby Sarkar, head of research at Qatar National Bank Financial Services, said by e-mail. “The stock used to be one of the laggards and I think it’s playing catch up.”
MSCI, whose equity indexes are tracked by investors with about $7 trillion in assets, will promote the two countries from May 2014 from frontier-market status.
Before today’s advance, Nakilat had gained 2.2 percent since June 30 compared with a 6.9 percent increase in the benchmark index. Two analysts rate Nakilat a buy and two say hold, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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